Jock Yoga Tutorial: Core-Strengthening And Rotation With Hip-Opener

Jock Yoga Tutorial: Core-Strengthening And Rotation With Hip-Opener (Photo credits: Glenn Gebhardt)

About the core: Widely accepted as a primary purpose for the core muscles is the protection of the spine and prevention of too much rotation. However, sometimes (especially in athletes) the core muscles can be over-developed, preventing rotation and limiting range of motion. In Jock Yoga we want to avoid over-developing the core, while still strengthening the muscles and giving a great yoga-workout.

The following series of simple movements will help to improve rotation in the torso for those who may be tight (without creating too much rotation for those who may be overly-flexible), while strengthening the core and stretching the outer-hip.

Core-strengthening with Rotation and Hip-opener

*Before beginning, you may want to make fists and roll your wrists around a few times to warm up*

Jock Yoga Tutorial: Core-Strengthening And Rotation With Hip-Opener

Step 1: Set yourself up in a runner’s lunge—left leg forward with your knee directly above the heel. Back leg is straight with the heel above the ball of the foot.

Jock Yoga Tutorial: Core-Strengthening And Rotation With Hip-Opener

Step 2: Press your right hand into the mat, inhale while twisting your chest to the left side and reaching your left arm up toward the ceiling. The belly should be pulled in and up, your front knee should remain pointed straight forward, and your left outer hip should remain pulled in toward midline.

* Steps 1 and 2 can be repeated several times to warm up the spine and the outer-hip. Inhale, twist open, exhale, left hand back down, and so on*

Jock Yoga Tutorial: Core-Strengthening And Rotation With Hip-Opener

Step 3: Once you’ve twisted a few times and warmed yourself up, stay in the twist. Firmly press your right hand into the mat (shoulder is stacked directly above the wrist) and make sure that your back leg is straight. Flex your feet (which means to lift your toes and press the balls of the feet away from you). Keeping them flexed, roll to the outer edges of both feet so that both sets of toes are pointed toward the left side of your mat (you may have to inch your left foot back a little if you find your outer left hip to be a bit tight).  Keeping the feet flexed stabilizes and protects the ankles and knees. *Please note: If there is ANY indication of pain in the knees, back off and don’t force the roll-open to the outer-edges of the feet. Stay in this pose, using your side core muscles to lift the hips higher—taking some work out of the right shoulder—and continue to roll your right hip under your left.  You should feel a stretch in your outer left hip and strengthening in the side core muscles to keep the hips lifted. Hold for at least five deep breaths through the nose. When you are done, you can bring your left hand back down and step out of the pose. Repeat with your right leg forward.

Get Jock Yoga CERTIFIED!! Our Jock Yoga expert Michael DeCorte is hosting his first Jock Yoga University 40hr Teacher-Training at Equinox Bay Street Oct. 2-6th. For more information and/or to apply, visit:

Check back every other week for a new tutorial by fitness expert Michael DeCorte.

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